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An introduction to GIS in Geosciences

Author Profile
Alisa Wade

University of Montana
University with graduate programs, including doctoral programs


Applied geosciences using GIS

Course URL:
Resource Type: Course Information
Special Interest: GIS
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
Course Size:

less than 15

Course Context:

This is an upper-division course that introduces the basic principles and techniques of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with applications to Earth systems, including geomorphology, geology, and hydrology. The course will provide a working knowledge of ESRI ArcGIS (9.3 Desktop, ArcInfo) via applied exercises using spatial data and tools related to careers in the geosciences. The course predominantly consists of hands-on lab exercises, although lectures will be used to introduce concepts.

Course Goals:

By the end of the course, students should:
- Understand basic terminology and concepts related to GIS
- Be able to formulate a spatially-dependent research question relevant to Geosciences
- Be able to apply GIS tools to analyze data and respond to the research question
- Be able to present final research results, including GIS-based graphics and maps, in an IMRAD format suitable for publication

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Each lab builds on the previous labs exposure to GIS while introducing a new component of the overarching-goal; to create a publication-quality final project.

Skills Goals

- Working in groups
- Presentation skills
- Laboratory write-ups

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Labs are completed as groups, and all work is peer-reviewed.


Student assessment is based on a combination of peer-review and teacher evaluation.


Syllabus (Microsoft Word 46kB May27 10)

Course Schedule (Acrobat (PDF) 23kB May27 10)

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